Free Forks On The Fourth Of July

I had to spend my whole mini-vacation with no electronics whatsoever. I had to write shit down y’all. All I had was a Sharpie and a 3 subject notebook.

We had four days to spend with our friends in Tennessee. They live in the Smokey Mountains and have a lovely guest cabin that I have claimed as ours. Sure, other people might stay there and our friends might not know that it’s mostly our cabin now, but it’s mostly ours.

Not only are our friends great to hang out with, but they had two shows to play while we were there. Mountain air and the Madisons. The perfect long weekend.

One thing we noticed while we were in Tennessee is that everyone waves at everyone. Randy had a fever nearly the whole time we were there which might account for him throwing up the rock and roll devil horns to the old guy on the tractor we passed.

It also might account for his participation in my zombie conversation. Usually, if he finds a conversation nonsensical then he won’t participate. Zombies (for him) are nonsensical. This conversation happened after the farmer on the tractor but before we got to the drugstore to pump him full of cold medicine and aspirin.

Me: I wonder if zombies from the South would be polite zombies? You know like “I’m fixin to eat your brains now, y’all. I’m sorry if this isn’t a good time”.

Randy: Y’all kids, come in here and get your brains. 

Me: But we had brains LAST night. 

Randy: We made brains and I helped. 

You really have to be old enough to remember the old Shake N Bake commercials to get the ‘and I helped’ reference.

We got to the drugstore, loaded up on cough syrup, aspirin, and Mucinex from behind the counter. I don’t know if the laws are different in Tennessee or if we just looked really shady, but the pharmacy girl gave Randy the third degree about his symptoms, blood pressure, blood sugar and his water intake. I was starting to feel guilty sitting there waiting. I started worrying that we might accidentally cook meth with the Mucinex. Although, I don’t think we’d be successful. Do you fry the pills in a pan or boil them like eggs to make the meth?

Just outside the drugstore is a tower that I’ve always found interesting. I told Randy that I wanted him to get a picture of the ‘Pet Milk’ tower and, fever aside, he was gracious enough to take the picture.

Randy: I got your picture, but it says Greenville redrying on it. Not pet milk. watertower Me: Fucking really? I mean, I know when we were driving in, I thought that sign said ‘free forks’ instead of  ‘fire works’ but if I read ‘Greeneville redrying’ as ‘pet milk’ then I would have to fuck up all the letters and have forgotten the concept of multiple syllable words. petmilk As it turns out, he just needed to turn his head to the right. Just a little bit.

I shouldn’t give Randy a hard time though, he was really sick. He was so sick that we couldn’t go to the Madison’s show on the fourth of July.

Even with his breaking bad meds he spent the fourth in bed asleep. I was left to my own devices on a mountain in the middle of nowhere with no internet access.

My forced social media break is still a little raw. I’ll have to write about that one later.

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  • 1. If you have ever watched The Walking Dead, which takes place in Georgia, you can see that southern zombies are no more polite than others. But maybe I think that because I haven’t seen any northern zombies on there. Hmmm….

    2. Yes, we do wave at everyone. While on our way to the lake on the 4th, my DD an I passed some people walking down the road who waved. I, of course, waved back. My daughter asked, ” Do you know them?” I just looked at her and said, “No. Darlin’, you live in the South. We don’t have to know them to wave.” (I was wondering what was wrong with her. She’s only lived here her whole life.) Her reply? “Well, I know THAT. I just didn’t know if we knew them or not.”

    That’s my girl. 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed yourself at your southern mountain retreat. Sorry Randy was feeling so bad. And if you think about it, the 4th is definitely a good holiday for free forks, what with all the food and eating that is happening in backyards all over the country!

    • The town I lived in when I was in high school (Dry Ridge, KY) was like that. When we moved there from the Cincinnati area, we were all dumbfounded…WHY is everyone waving at us? We must have a car just like the most popular person in town.

    • Not gonna lie..I was pretty anxious for the first 48 hours and never shook the anxiety for the whole trip. Kinda glad it happened, though. I think I need to take periodic breaks.

  • I remember the Shake and Bake commercial! I don’t know whether to be excited or sad about that. It sounds like you had a swell time — probably a “sweller” time than Randy — but still. The forced withdrawal from electronic devices would have driven me a little crazy — I mean, PAPER and SHARPIES???? What is this, the middle ages????

  • A couple times a year I take a forced break from the Internets. I play a LOT of solitaire. I try and write too, but I’m generally too angry with Sheldon to write much more than FUCK YOU FOR NOT PAYING THE CABLE BILL over and over and over. Which is pretty easy because I just copy and paste it.
    But I digress. I too, have felt that guilt thing while trying to get cold relief. From what I understand, making meth can result in an explosion, so I figure it has something to do with a pressure cooker. [I have never watched ‘Breaking Bad’.]
    I hope Randy’s feeling better at this point. *waves at Randy \o *

    • Yeah…I’d be cutting and pasting that shit all over the place!

      He’s feeling much better..but still not 100%. It’s odd because he’s hardly ever sick and never for this long.

  • OK Mucinex – is that the commercial with the gross green thing lurking about? It gets used for meth? really?! Well now all my meth addled “readers” seeking tattoo pikin n scratchin advice can amble over to your site for a change….hmmmm…maybe I’ll link it. Nice to have you back online – twitter seemed so polite n boring y’all without you

  • I would like to think southern anything (living, dead, zombies) are more polite. It is how we are… manners should transfer over the life and death barrier. At least I would like to think you can take your “raising” with you. But then again… I live in the south and we can throw a sugar coated insult better than anyone… most northerners don’t catch it till later.

  • As soon as I read that line about “It’s brains, and I helped!” the line from the Shake ‘n’ Bake commercial went through my head. God that child was annoying. Of course, my hateful brain went from Shake ‘n’ Bake to Hamburger Helper, so now I have, “Hamburger Helper helped her hamburger help her make a great meal!” going through my head. Oh well.

  • I love the pet milk picture. I took a picture last week and thought of you. I’ll have to get it up on the Internet so you can see it.

    And I totally remember the “and I helped” reference.

  • Oh, I love it… I’ve done the same thing with buying meds. I grew up pretty innocent and have lived most of my life without TV (or news, or contact with anyone but my family I guess) so I’m pretty unaware of, um, social drug use, and/or its various production ingredients.

    Everyone but me was sick one year with like swine flu or something, so I went to Walmart, (because where else can you get a bus load of herbs, cold meds, oil for the car, school supplies, food, hot tub chemicals, a goldfish, AND a new bicycle?) I was checking out, and the girl asked me for I.D. I was like, “Um…why?” She was like, “For the super glue.” I said, “What? Are they afraid I’m going to glue my lips together?” She was like, “No. You can’t buy THAT MUCH Nyquil AND bleach AND super glue, and not get carded.” Me: “*blank stare*”

    Then, you know how you get all…extra innocent…when you’re ACTUALLY INNOCENT?– and then it seems like you’re overcompensating, and they start looking at you like you could actually be a middle-aged mom baking up batches of meth?

    Apparently the checkout thingamagig goes off if you have the wrong combination of stuff in your cart, because you could be accidentally (or purposely) making meth or something. I was lucky to get out of there without Security taking me down.

    I also grew up in a town where everyone waves (or does that howdy *nod*) at everyone, no matter what. It took us awhile, when we moved to a bigger town, to get over people NOT waving back. “Wow. Rude. They must be from out of town.”

    Glad you get to experience that, and a weekend unplugged, and glad that Randy’s on the mend. 🙂

  • Hope Randy is recovered soon. I envy your trips to the mountains normally, this time I just wish you’d had a lergy free holiday and not been on a forced break from the internet, for purely selfish reasons as I missed your daft posts!
    No idea re the ad as it’s obviously unique to your side of the pond but I don’t have a TV either.
    Accidentally making meth…ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • Here in the north country (technically the Midwest) I’ve noticed strangers wave at strangers when we’re out on road trips. Canadian zombies would probably be super polite, don’t you think?
    What is pet milk? Is it milk FOR pets or FROM pets?

    • I have NO idea what Pet Milk is. Not a clue. Pretty sure it’s not actually milk for pets or milk of pets, though.

      I bet the Canadian zombies would just apologize a lot. Sorry…sorry I ate your brains.

  • What the heck does “Pet Milk” mean? And obviously you have a lot of Breaking Bad to watch if you think cooking meth involves a microwave. Come on Michelle, this is very fancy science. Catch up on the episodes and then we can meet and cook a little of the blue stuff.

    • I have NO idea what Pet Milk is…not a clue.

      I did watch all of breaking bad, but I don’t think I paid enough attention to the cooking part..other than everything had to be clean (so I fail there) and the precise temperature is important…that’s iffy for me.

  • Over here pet milk is what you can give to puppies or kittens and is DEFINITELY NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION – according to the packaging anyway. Not sure if anyone has ever tried to drink pets milk – I doubt I would be game but seeing as I don’t drink milk anyway, I’m not likely to start drinking pets milk no matter how poor we get !! Having said that I’m not sure that it’s much cheaper than normal milk !!
    I wouldn’t ask A to take any photos for me – he just hasn’t got a clue – poor bugger !
    Have the best day !
    PS – I could have managed with no internet ONLY if I had a book to read – and one that lasted the whole time I was there !!

    • I don’t know what it is, but I don’t think it has anything to do with pet milk. I guess I could look it up…

      Okay…I looked it is defunct dairy farm

  • Glad you solved the mystery. Briana saw the picture and said Wow, that’s a lot of pet milk. So I said that maybe it was someone’s pet milk, because a lot of people have strange pets.

  • I am old enough to remember that we use the brains of pet milk to cover with our Shake ‘N Bake granules. And it doesn’t count unless you have a deep authentic southern accent and the charming effervescence of an innocent little girl who has never smelled cooked pet milk brains.

  • I love the idea of polite Southern zombies, fixin you some Country Time to marinade your brains. I had a whole Mayberry/Walking Dead mashup going in my brain, so I missed most of the rest of the post 😉 Hope everyone is on the mend and no longer needing meth meds.

  • Poor Randy. But on the upside, you got a conversation about zombies. Glad he’s on the mend.

    We went camping recently, sans electronics (mostly), and I had to relearn how to use a pen and paper. It was excruciating.

    And I totally got the Shake and Bake reference. Use it all the time.

    • Thank you! And he is STILL kind of sick. In 19 years, I have never seen him sick for so long. He’s much better, but still, far from 100 percent

By Michelle


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